Bright Lights Windsor Brings its Windsor Wonderland to a Close
Extended for an extra week by popular demand, Bright Lights Windsor wrapped up for the season after its final evening on Sunday, January 16, 2022.
The tradition returned home to Jackson Park this year, and while the fortunes of the COVID-19 pandemic took some turns over the holidays, the event was able to safely remain open to dazzle and inspire visitors thanks to a number of enhanced safety measures. It is estimated that over 100,000 people enjoyed the lights, displays and holiday cheer of our 2021 “Windsor Wonderland,” which is on par with the impressive attendance we saw in pre-pandemic years at the traditional location.
At this year’s event, COVID-19 safety precautions were top of mind. Enhanced measures included the following:
Directional signage to manage the one-way flow of people
Properly spaced attractions to avoid traffic jams and gatherings
Increased spacing between vendors to allow for physical distancing
Masks required to be worn when physical distancing of two metres was not possible
Here are a few highlights to celebrate from our return home to Jackson Park this year:
Following this year’s theme, “Walking in a Windsor Wonderland,” the event pathway presented a series of festive and seasonally themed displays: Wish Upon a Star, Winter Wonderland, Candy Cane Lane, Santa’s Stable, Peace & Love Around the World, and W.E. the North. Opportunities to be wowed at every turn and excellent settings for the perfect picture – including some fun new selfie stations – were abundant.
The WE Made It: Holiday Market returned, sponsored by Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island in partnership with the Urban Art Market, Rose City Etsy Team and WindsorEats. Along with the market, several excellent local food and beverage options were offered throughout the weekdays.
Sensory friendly “Silent Nights” were offered on Tuesday evenings. As in previous years, the lights were on, but sound was muted and strobe elements paused so the display could be enjoyed in a peaceful environment accommodating to sensory sensitivities.
A number of gracious partners and sponsors helped in so many ways, including Tim Hortons, University of Windsor, Libro Credit Union, WindsorEssex Community Foundation, St. Clair College, WFCU Credit Union, AM800 CKLW, CTV, windsoriteDOTca, Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County, and Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island.
Windsor’s well-known charitable spirit shone again this year, as we hosted a number of local charities, including Operation Keep Windsor Warm, Windsor Essex Care for Kids Foundation (W.E. Care for Kids), UHC – Hub of Opportunities and The Salvation Army, as well as the YQG Hearts for Hope campaign (detailed below). Charitable activities raised over $11,000 at this year’s event.
New this year, we partnered with Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation and Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare Foundation to launch The “YQG Hearts for Hope” campaign. Guests purchased a heart for a $5 donation, decorated it with a message of hope, and displayed it on special magnetic walls near the word HOPE. These walls will be placed in our local hospitals for staff to see now that this year’s event has concluded. Funds raised from the campaign will benefit Transition to Betterness, UHC – Hub of Opportunities, and The Salvation Army.
The focus now shifts to removal of the event displays and equipment, which organizers say will be progressive and weather permitting. Updates regarding the re-opening of Jackson Park will be ongoing.
Share Your Thoughts!
If you visited us or were a vendor at this year’s event, we’d love to hear from you. Please take a few moments to share your feedback through our surveys:
2021 Bright Lights Attendee Survey
2021 Bright Lights Vendor Survey
To learn more, contact 311 or visit www.BrightLightsWindsor.ca.